the real cultural imperialism

america is often accused of cultural imperialism, with phrases like "McWorld" thrown out there. yes, mcdonald's was formed in america. but from my experience and from what i've heard, mcdonald's changes its menu depending on what country its in, and hires from the local labor force. so other than originating in america, i wouldn't consider it's overseas franchises to be overtly "american."

that was kind of random... bear with me.

the real cultural imperialism, in my opinion, is not flowing outward from america, but into it, in the form of mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal.

cultural imperialism is texas students declaring that the mexican flag should fly "at least above the texas flag" on a flagpole outside of a houston school. at least? as in, maybe it should be above the american flag too? i think not. and these arrogant bastards (strong language, but i think appropriate) in california taking down the american flag and rehanging it upside down under the mexican flag.

cultural imperialism is dallas county requiring it's teachers to learn spanish or lose their jobs. not offering incentives like a salary bonus for learning a FOREIGN language, or doing more to teach the mexican immigrants english, but forcing employees to learn another language or get fired.

cultural imperialism is me--well over 1,000 miles from mexico--having to speak spanish so that i can communicate with part of the customer base at my bank. because it's obviously too much trouble for them to take the time to learn the language of the country they're living in. i don't expect them to be fluent (because i wouldn't expect myself to be fluent in their situation), but i expect them to be able to communicate in the local language. the younger generation of mexican immigrants (often second-generation) is picking up english in school and is well on it's way to becoming bilingual, which i think is a good thing. but the older generation seems to be much more interested in american money than american culture.

cultural imperialism is the mexican state of yucatan publishing a guide on how to sneak across the border into the US. (unfortunately, it looks like the link to the actual guide is down, so you'll just have to work with this article)

cultural imperialism--or more appropriately in this case, sheer mexican arrogance--is illegal aliens protesting for relaxed immigration control. if you want the rights and privelages that come along with being an american citizen, you need to be an american citizen.

and none of this is helped by the fact that our politicians seem to have no balls (or whatever the female equivelant of that expression would be) when it comes to immigration and border security. mexican immigrants are far from being a majority in america, but they are still a fairly decent sized chunk of the voting population. our elected representatives seem to be more interested in getting re-elected than in border security and immigration reform. they are, in effect, selling their votes on matters regarding illegal immigrants so that they can buy the votes of the immigrants who came here legally.

i think i'm going to leave off here, because i'm getting more and more pissed as i write and this is turning into a rant. i think this gets my point across, and gives you a starting point if you're interested in reading more.


a fun idea that probably wouldn't fly

as you've probably figured from reading this blog before, i am strongly against illegal immigration. but i've just had a really fun thought about it. starting march 31st, or some other random date, keep track of all expenses related to illegal immigrants. then, at the end of a year, we send their countries of origin a bill for the expenses. i wouldn't expect any of them to actually pay it, but publicizing the results would definitely be interesting.

on a somewhat related note, here is a very interesting look at our relationship w/ mexico, h/t say anything.

oh oblivion, why must you be so awesome?

after years of waiting, oblivion finally came out last tuesday. and i've been playing it ever since. right now i'm playing a dark elf nightblade (mage-warrior combo), and just recently got turned into a vampire. which is kind of cool, because it gives me extra stats, and kind of sucky, because i'm constantly taking damage if i try to do anything between 8am and 8pm. which, conveniently, is when most of the shops are open. oh well. the game, overall, definitely rocks. i've heard of quite a few people having problems with it (which is not overly suprising... morrowind, it's predecessor, was quite possibly one of the buggiest games ever), but i've only had one: whenever i quit, it tells me that there's been an error and the program needs to end. which is really more annoying than anything.

luckily, rachel is home on spring break this week, and her boyfriend from honduras was finally able to come up for a visit, so i should be able to spend some time with them and away from my computer.


another new hero... again

i seem to be going through these fairly quickly. anyways, the hero of the moment is chris muir, author of day by day, which i finally started reading. he gets about 8 million bonus points for this comic.


how does that work?

so, we got a new fridge a few weeks back, and unlike our old one, this one is not magnetic. apparently this has something to do with the fact that the exterior is stainless steel, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. last i checked, steel is made with iron, and iron is definitely magnetic. so why isn't our fridge?

motivation? what motivation?

so, as i mentioned earlier, next friday i'll be giving a presentation to the holy war in europe class at whitworth. i've known when it was going to be for a good two weeks now, and yet i haven't put that much work into it yet. it's like i've got senioritis all over again. that, and i don't have nearly as many resources here at home as i did at school, which makes things a bit tricky. i think it will still turn out pretty well, but won't be as authoritative as it should.


it's all about the presentation

i was watching saturday night live the other night with a friend. i think it was an old one, but i could be wrong. alec baldwin (FAG, for those of you who've seen team america) was the guest host and shakira was the musical guest. kate-lynne argued that shakira had a weird voice, and i have to agree with her, it does sound a bit strange. maybe because english isn't her native language (and yet she took the time to learn it... good for her), but who knows. and despite this, she's managed to become quite famous and popular. which brings us back to the subject: shakira may have a weird voice, but she does a very good job of presenting herself.

i think the idea is usually applied to cooking, so i'll borrow a line from emeril: "bam!"


shiloh inns: american owned and proud of it

now, i know very little about shiloh inns, and what i do comes from their radio commercial i hear on the radio every now and then. but one thing caught my attention:
"And Shiloh doesn't outsource; we keep American jobs in America."
now, ignoring the fact that outsourcing isn't always a bad thing, i just have one question to ask: how in the world would you outsource a hotel job? fly in your bellboys from india and your maids from mexico every night? move all the shiloh inns overseas? i just don't get it.


my new hero

holy frick. after several years of having it recommended by nate, and apparently several more from my mother (a librarian) that i don't remember, i finally got around to reading "ender's game." orson scott card, you are my new hero.


the downside to caffeine

me: *urinating*
toilet: dude, what is this? 12 times so far today?
me: *still urinating*
toilet: i'm just saying man, that's a lot of times
me: *finishes urinating, zips up, washes hands*
toilet: so, see you in 5 minutes or so?


book recommendation

i'm a little over half way done with "ben-hur" now, and still thoroughly enjoying it. i highly recommend reading it if you get the chance.


cool beans

i got to meet dino rossi, the man who should be governor, this weekend in wenatchee. he seems like a pretty cool guy, and definitely has his ducks in a row when it comes to politics. though he's said he won't make an official decision on whether or not to run again, i'm thinking--and hoping--that he will.



and we want to give these people a state of their own? a people whose children desire nothing more than to blow themselves up and kill as many jews as possible? i vote no.

h/t protein wisdom

thought of the day

how can you rehearse something without first having hearsed it?

a damn good question

why haven't these people been arrested?


great analogies

"That's like petting a kitten with a 2 x 4." --Nate Backman

the denver post thinks we have so many illegal aliens in the country because border security is too tight, and that's keeping them from going back to mexico after they sneak onto our side.

rob port responds: "Right. So obviously all of our illegal immigration problems would disappear if we'd just laxen our border security a bit. Of course, isn't that a little like saying that a woman wouldn't have been raped if she'd just said 'yes?'"

i will never use the phrase "cautious optimism" again.

man i love penny arcade.

dr. bareither?

not for awhile, actually. i will, however, be giving a "guest lecture" of sorts to corliss' holy war in europe class on march 31. if you're one of the whitworth folk that read this, i recommend you attend. if only so that a higher percentage of the people laughing at me are ones that i know.

cuidado! piso mojado! and other thoughts

today at the bank, a customer pulled up to the drivethrough. we had a very enlightening conversation.

me: "How are you today?"
him: "Cash please."
i cash his check, and count out the money to him.
me: "Have a nice day."
and then he just drives off, not even bothering with a "thank you" or "you too."

and i thought to myself, hmm, i wasn't aware that that was a state of being... i'm used to the more usual tired, good, pretty good, etc. after cashing his check, i had another thought. several of our non-hispanic customers have commented on my spanish, saying how it's a good thing that i know it. but i think, if some of our hispanic customers (though not all... several speak fluent or near-fluent english, and quite a few others have enough to get by) aren't going to trouble themselves to learn more of the local language to say more than "can you cash my check," why should i go out of my way to learn a foreign language to make them more comfortable? especially given the fact that many of them have been living in america for quite a few years now, whereas at this point, i have no desire to even travel to a spanish-speaking country, let alone to live in one. for some time now, my thought has been that if you're planning on being in the country for longer than a decent vacation (2-3 weeks), you need to learn the language. you don't have to be fluent, you just have to be able to communicate, and not count on somebody there being able to speak your language. this applies to both people coming to america and people going out of it; i hope to travel to rhodes at some point, and plan on learning some greek before i do.

which, somehow, brings me to hyphenated-americanism, which i still hate. a case in point, brought up by this article from tongue tied (excerpts follow):

Two cops in Topeka, Kan. have been disciplined for writing a letter to the editor of the local paper and emails to one of its columnists that the local NAACP considers racially insensitive.

Both are accused of using racially inflammatory language in their complaints about a columnist, Glenda Overstreet, who wrote that a black defendant with five prior felony convictions was the victim of racism because the judge didn't let him walk when he "spoke eloquently."

In a letter to the local Metro News, Eaton [one of the cops] called Overstreet [head of the local NAACP] a racist and said "being a colored person does not give you a 'get out of trouble free card' to be used when you want it." He mocked her use of the term "African-American," and said "If it's so great in the 'home land', then why are you here?"

in my opinion, that last comment was a bit overboard. but at the same time, it raises a good point. the average "african-american" was not born in africa; odds are they have never been there, nor have their parents or even grandparents. odds are, i know more about africa than your average "african-american." so why do we tack "african" in front of "american"? or any other group, for that matter: chinese-american, arab-american, etc. for a first generation immigrant, that makes sense. after that, you're either american or you're not; and if you're not, you have my cordial invitation to get the hell out.


media bias? where?

right in the headlines, as usual. example:

sounds pretty bad, right? the war is, obviously, driving our soldiers out of the service. unless you bother to finish the first sentence of the article:

"...although the overall desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001."

and here:

Desertion numbers have dropped since 9/11. The Army, Navy and Air Force reported 7,978 desertions in 2001, compared with 3,456 in 2005. The Marine Corps showed 1,603 Marines in desertion status in 2001. That had declined by 148 in 2005.
Desertions in 2005 represent 0.24% of the 1.4 million U.S. forces.

and, further down in the article, the navy at least says that nearly 60% of their deserters come back and finish up their terms.

but you know, we wouldn't want to put any of the good news in bold print, would we?

h/t say anything.


priceless. and true to boot.

thought of the day

never be predictable. your enemy/opponent is not stupid; or, if they are, they probably have intelligent people working for them. if they can predict what you're going to do, they can come up with a way to stop it. this applies to politics, sports, battle, and probably a few other areas as well. keep them off balance, and you can keep them on the defensive, at which point the battle is already halfway over.


random historical fact

i think it's been to long since i've posted one of these, so here we go.

were you living in ancient rome, one of the possible jobs you could have was underarm hair plucker. i kid you not. which, let's face it, is a lot worse than working at wal-mart.

wtf mate?

i've begun noticing that every day, at around 10:14 (it gets 2 seconds later every day) my computer gets disconnected from the internet. a few seconds later, i'm able to reconnect with no problems. any ideas what might be causing this, and what i could do to fix it?


political test with humor

i actually took this test awhile back--as did pat (who still needs to update... hobag)--but apparently never posted about it. then a few days ago, i got an email from the author of the test asking if i would mention the test on my blog. now, odds are he'd reach a bigger audience by throwing his test at random people on the street, but i figure what the heck. i found it a bit long, but incredibly entertaining; below are the "sample questions" he provided in the email. if you've got some free time, i recommend giving it a look-see.

Key to abbreviations in test questions that follow:

CONS: Conservative (Archconservative)

LIBL: Liberal (Leftwing Wacko)

LBRT: Libertarian (Antigovernment Libertine)

COMM: Communist (Commie Sympathizer)

1: Government's practice of stealing from the rich to give to the poor is...

CONS: a crime.

LIBL: a brave, generous and heroic deed.

LBRT: a foolish, misguided attempt at social engineering.

COMM: an inspiration to us all.

7: The Center for Public-Health Dietary Self Control releases a study that says eating just one jelly donut is as harmful to human health as smoking 10,000,000 cartons of cigarettes. Do you...

CONS: keep eating jelly donuts.

LIBL: demand that jelly donuts be removed from vending machines, and public school cafeterias.

LBRT: hoard jelly donuts before they are regulated off grocer's shelves.

COMM: hoard jelly donuts so you can sell them on the black market.

10: What techniques are best for maintaining discipline in the classroom?

CONS: If just one student misbehaves, severely punish the entire class.

LIBL: Force boys who refuse to settle down to take psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin and Prozac.

LBRT: Anyone who doesn't want to be in class can leave.

COMM: Anyone who doesn't want to be in class can be made an example of.

20: What's the best way to stop people from illegally crossing our borders?

CONS: Seal the borders so no one can get in.

LIBL: Do nothing to beef up security at the borders, and offer illegal aliens a wide array of free services.

LBRT: Allow unrestricted passage across the borders.

COMM: Seal the borders so no one can get out.

21: How would you define the word "profit"?

CONS: What business owners earn by selling a quality product at a competitive price.

LIBL: What business owners RIP-OFF from their customers.

LBRT: What business owners are rewarded with for risking the loss of their own money.

COMM: What business owners RIP-OFF from their employees.

so, there you have it. and for the record, jelly donuts rock.


howard dean: blond?

"I'm sure that an American company would bid on the ports if this [port management] was restricted to American companies...." --DNC Chairman Howard Dean, responding to Alan Colmes' comment that no American companies had bid on the ports deal.

which to me seems obvious to the point of stupidity. that's like saying "i bet men would buy more chocolate than women if it was restricted to men." or, in a situation i'm sure dean would like, "i bet democrats would win more elections if voting was restricted to democrats."


now here's some irony for you. the democrats are getting all lathered up about the ports deal with the UAE. apparently it will be bad for national security. at the same time, they have failed to mention the fact that for the last 20 years, the UAE has been flying planes into JFK airport in NEW YORK CITY... you remember, that same city where 4 and a half years ago, some terrorists flew planes into our buildings. and in all of those 20 years, they have never managed to do cause any security problems for us, and have actually won several awards along the way. now, maybe the dems just didn't know about this. but if they did, i'm sure they'd bury it in some deep dark place and hope nobody else noticed.

h/t say anything